Publication Date: Summer 2000
READY OR NOT - HERE COMES
Soon, electric choice will come to everyone who buys electricity in New
York. The State Public Service Commission is presiding over a phased deregulation
of electricity, which began in 1998. Most New York cooperatives and condominiums
have preferred to sit out Phases 1 through 3 of this process, but inaction
will soon cease to be an option, since power will be available only from
independent energy service companies (ESCOs) by the end of 2002. At that
point Con Edison will no longer sell electricity, though its transmission
lines will continue to be the only way to bring power to your building.
Deregulation was touted as a means of lowering energy prices through
competition in an open marketplace. However, Con Edison's high transmission
fees left little room for savings until this summer, when huge jumps in
rates finally gave certain foresighted ESCOs an opportunity to shine by
holding their rates down.
CNYC has followed deregulation from its inception, concerned that its
members might have problems with this process. Indeed, many ESCOs have
proven reluctant to accept individual units or small buildings as customers,
or they have surprised small customers with extra fees. CNYC will continue
to keep members advised of opportunities and pitfalls as deregulation
progresses. Consult page 5 of this Newsletter for energy conservation
opportunities and for the three seminars at CNYC's 20th annual Housing
Conference that can help you cope with Electric Choice.